George, Western Cape – Fiercely-contested first place finish, gutsy attempts to break record times, fervent defence of hard-won
titles and passionate resolve to improve personal best results . . . all this and huge doses of gritty determination characterised the top athletes at the 11th OCC wheelchair race on Saturday,
In an oh-so-close finish, the hand cycle division in the men’s open paraplegic 42.2km marathon was won by Ernst van Dyk (Maties Helderberg Club), in a time of 1:09:33. Coming second, with the same officially-recorded time but a mere half-wheel diameter behind the winner was Andries Scheepers (Rustenburg Multi Club). And only one second behind the leaders was third-placed Stuart McCreadie from (Maties Helderberg Club), who came second in 2012.
This is the eleventh time that Van Dyk has entered the OCC race, and his second consecutive win in the handcycle division, with an average race speed of 36.4 kilometres per hour.
Speaking after the race, Van Dyk praised the event organisers and fellow competitors.
‘I only made it by a hair’s breadth into the winning position. This is a real honour, but I can see I will have to train even harder next year to stay ahead of the tough competition! Once again, the race was so well organised, and I am grateful to the George Municipality’s traffic department for ensuring our safety. I strongly encourage all wheelchair-bound people to consider entering this wonderful, camaraderie-filled event next year.’
In a winning time of 01:58:39, Hilary Lewis of South Africa once again won the Women’s Handcycle Paraplegic marathon, bettering her 2012 time by nearly three minutes.
The Racing Men’s Paraplegic marathon was won by Gerrit Hendricks in a time of 01:58:39, followed by Elford Moyo and Eugene Klassen.
George, Wes Kaap – ‘n Verwoede stryd om eerste plek, waagmoedige pogings om rekord tye te breek, vurige verdediging van hard verdiende titels en ‘n vasberadenheid om persoonlike beste tye te verbeter . . . al hierdie eienskappe en ‘n stewige dosis determinasie was die kenmerk van die top atlete in die 11de OCC rolstoel wedren wat Saterdag 16 Februarie in George plaasgevind het.